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Domino’s has been around in this part of the world for quite some time now. It started off true to its brand essence of being a delivery and take-away joint located in the obscure location behind Nando’s next to Damascus in Clifton. While Pizza Hut was going great guns at that time penetrating like hell, Domino’s was content with just one outlet delivering to only Clifton and Defence areas.
Then all of a sudden it woke up from its deep slumber and within no time had opened quite a few dine-in outlets, the most prominent being the National Stadium one adjacent to Copper Kettle.
But it found out the hard way how late it was in getting in on the action as Pizza Hut had deeply entrenched itself in the mind of the consumer so much so that the target market now considered Pizza Hut’s taste as the benchmark. Any deviation from this was rejected outright. Conversely, many pizza hut clones did roaring as a result of this.
This single consumer preference cost many Pizza outlets dearly who didn’t aspire to Pizza Hut’s way of baking pizzas. Domino’s was one of them. It had to close down its biggest joint on Stadium Road due to lack of business.
It has come a long way since then, emulating Pizza Hut’s promotional tactics of coming up with something new and unique every now and then. To its credit, it hasn’t tried to copy Pizza Hut’s recipe, sticking to its own brand essence while trying out new things.
We paid a visit to its recently opened Bahadurabad outlet next to HavMor ice cream on the main Bahadurabad chowrangi, and tried their latest offerings.
One was the double melt cheese, and the other Quesadilla.
Both are unique creations, although Quesadilla is being made by other pizza joints by the name of La pizza pie. Double melt cheese is pretty self-explanatory – there are two layers of cheese.
Quesadilla suffers from a pretty dab appearance. It’s only when you have taken a couple of bites of the thing that the real taste sinks in. We ordered the chicken version, and this is one major shortcoming of Domino’s Quesadilla that you can only pick one of four offerings – chicken, beef, pure cheese and vegetable. You can’t opt for any variation or combination.
Apart from that, it proved to be a hidden gem, or at least the chicken version did. The thing that stole the show was the tikka taste dominant in the chicken pieces used. Although many clones of Pizza Hut claim to offer the tikka flavor, almost all of them fail at it, offering plain marinated chicken instead of the real coal grilled taste, probably thinking they’ve fooled the customer.
They need to wake up to the fact that the consumer is a lot more discerning than they credit him for and can destroy your business by opting to never come back.
In this context, Domino’s gets full marks because it never promised to offer tikka flavor and yet went ahead and did just that. This is a perfect example of ‘Under promise – over deliver’, an adage all brands should adhere to religiously.
It doesn’t matter if the chicken used in the Quesadilla was actual tikka or just plain chicken which was subjected to a few minutes of coal vapor. What matters is that the consumer was given a pleasant surprise when he wasn’t expecting one.
Now if only they could spruce the appearance of the Quesadilla, because at the moment it looks like a glorified version of a Nan. A fancy Nan by a pathan ka dhaba that is filled with all sorts of Pathani delicacies.
The double melt cheese pizza did well both on the presentation and the taste front. By the looks of it, we weren’t expecting it to be so fulfilling, and yet it was that rich- the two cheese used combined to create a perfect concoction for satiating your appetite.
Also all the flavors that are available for the simple version are valid for the double cheese version as well.
The good thing is that Domino’s hasn’t changed its brand essence to conform to Pizza Hut’s benchmark. It is still making its trademark thin crust.
What Domino can improve upon is the frequency and variety in its deals and promoting them through the digital media which majority of the target market is using.